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List of U.S. state abbreviations


List of U.S. state abbreviations

The following is a of various codes and abbreviations used to represent the political divisions of the United States. These codes and abbreviations are used for postal addresses, data processing, general abbreviations, and other purposes. The table also includes abbreviations for three independent nations related to the United States through Compacts of Free Association, and other comparable postal abbreviations, including those now obsolete.


  • Table 1
  • History 2
    • Current use of traditional abbreviations 2.1
  • Codes for states and territories 3
    • ISO standard 3166 3.1
    • ANSI standard INCITS 38:2009 3.2
    • Postal codes 3.3
    • Coast Guard vessel prefixes 3.4
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Legend of column headers:

ISO 3166 codes. 2-letter, 3-letter and 3-digit codes are from ISO 3166-1; 2+2-letter codes are from ISO 3166-2.
2-letter and 2-digit codes from the ANSI standard INCITS 38:2009
2-letter codes used by the United States Postal Service
2-letter codes used by the United States Coast Guard
Official, older, variable length US Government abbreviations
Abbreviations are from the AP Stylebook
Region Codes Abbreviations
United States Federal state US
US 00 U.S. U.S. U.S.A.
Alabama State US-AL AL 01 AL AL Ala. Ala.
Alaska State US-AK AK 02 AK AK Alaska Alaska Alas.
Arizona State US-AZ AZ 04 AZ AZ Ariz. Ariz. Az.
Arkansas State US-AR AR 05 AR AR Ark. Ark.
California State US-CA CA 06 CA CF Calif. Calif. Ca., Cal.
Colorado State US-CO CO 08 CO CL Colo. Colo. Col.
Connecticut State US-CT CT 09 CT CT Conn. Conn. Ct.
Delaware State US-DE DE 10 DE DL Del. Del. De.
District of Columbia Federal district US-DC DC 11 DC DC D.C. D.C. Wash. D.C.
Florida State US-FL FL 12 FL FL Fla. Fla. Fl., Flor.
Georgia State US-GA GA 13 GA GA Ga. Ga.
Hawaii State US-HI HI 15 HI HA Hawaii Hawaii H.I.
Idaho State US-ID ID 16 ID ID Idaho Idaho Id., Ida.
Illinois State US-IL IL 17 IL IL Ill. Ill. Il., Ills., Ill's
Indiana State US-IN IN 18 IN IN Ind. Ind. In.
Iowa State US-IA IA 19 IA IA Iowa Iowa Ia., Ioa.[1]
Kansas State US-KS KS 20 KS KA Kans. Kan. Ks., Ka.
Kentucky State (Commonwealth) US-KY KY 21 KY KY Ky. Ky. Ken., Kent.
Louisiana State US-LA LA 22 LA LA La. La.
Maine State US-ME ME 23 ME ME Maine Maine Me.
Maryland State US-MD MD 24 MD MD Md. Md.
Massachusetts State (Commonwealth) US-MA MA 25 MA MS Mass. Mass.
Michigan State US-MI MI 26 MI MC Mich. Mich.
Minnesota State US-MN MN 27 MN MN Minn. Minn. Mn.
Mississippi State US-MS MS 28 MS MI Miss. Miss.
Missouri State US-MO MO 29 MO MO Mo. Mo.
Montana State US-MT MT 30 MT MT Mont. Mont.
Nebraska State US-NE NE 31 NE NB Nebr. Neb.
Nevada State US-NV NV 32 NV NV Nev. Nev. Nv.
New Hampshire State US-NH NH 33 NH NH N.H. N.H.
New Jersey State US-NJ NJ 34 NJ NJ N.J. N.J.
New Mexico State US-NM NM 35 NM NM N. Mex. N.M. New M.
New York State US-NY NY 36 NY NY N.Y. N.Y. N. York
North Carolina State US-NC NC 37 NC NC N.C. N.C. N. Car.
North Dakota State US-ND ND 38 ND ND N. Dak. N.D. NoDak
Ohio State US-OH OH 39 OH OH Ohio Ohio O., Oh.
Oklahoma State US-OK OK 40 OK OK Okla. Okla. Ok.
Oregon State US-OR OR 41 OR OR Oreg. Ore. Or.
Pennsylvania State (Commonwealth) US-PA PA 42 PA PA Pa. Pa. Penn., Penna.
Rhode Island State US-RI RI 44 RI RI R.I. R.I. R.I. & P.P., R. Isl.
South Carolina State US-SC SC 45 SC SC S.C. S.C. S. Car.
South Dakota State US-SD SD 46 SD SD S. Dak. S.D. SoDak
Tennessee State US-TN TN 47 TN TN Tenn. Tenn.
Texas State US-TX TX 48 TX TX Tex. Texas Tx.
Utah State US-UT UT 49 UT UT Utah Utah Ut.
Vermont State US-VT VT 50 VT VT Vt. Vt.
Virginia State (Commonwealth) US-VA VA 51 VA VA Va. Va. Virg.
Washington State US-WA WA 53 WA WN Wash. Wash. Wa., Wn.[2]
West Virginia State US-WV WV 54 WV WV W. Va. W.Va. W.V., W. Virg.
Wisconsin State US-WI WI 55 WI WS Wis. Wis. Wi., Wisc.
Wyoming State US-WY WY 56 WY WY Wyo. Wyo. Wy.
American Samoa Insular area (Territory) AS
AS 60 AS AS A.S.
Guam Insular area (Territory) GU
GU 66 GU GU Guam
Northern Mariana Islands Insular area (Commonwealth) MP
MP 69 MP CM M.P.
Puerto Rico Insular area (Commonwealth) PR
PR 72 PR PR P.R.
Virgin Islands Insular area (Territory) VI
VI 78 VI VI V.I. U.S.V.I.
U.S. Minor Outlying Islands Insular areas UM
UM 74
   Baker Island    island UM-81 81
   Howland Island    island UM-84 84
   Jarvis Island    island UM-86 86
   Johnston Atoll    atoll UM-67 67
   Kingman Reef    atoll UM-89 89
   Midway Islands    atoll UM-71 71
   Navassa Island    island UM-76 76
   Palmyra Atoll[3]    atoll[3] UM-95 95
   Wake Island    atoll UM-79 79
Federated States of Micronesia Freely associated state FM
FM 64 FM
Marshall Islands Freely associated state MH
MH 68 MH
Palau Freely associated state PW
PW 70 PW
U.S. Armed ForcesAmericas[4] US military mail code AA
U.S. Armed Forces – Europe[5] US military mail code AE
U.S. Armed Forces – Pacific[6] US military mail code AP
Northern Mariana Islands Obsolete postal code[7] CM
Panama Canal Zone Obsolete postal code PZ
Nebraska Obsolete postal code[8] NB
Philippine Islands Obsolete postal code PH
Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands Obsolete postal code PC


As early as October 1874, the United States Post Office recognized common abbreviations for states and territories. However, they only accepted these abbreviations because of their popularity, preferring that patrons spell names out in full to avoid confusion.[10]

The traditional abbreviations for U.S. states and territories, widely used in mailing addresses prior to the introduction of two-letter U.S. postal abbreviations, are still commonly used for other purposes (such as legal citation), and are still recognized (though discouraged) by the Postal Service.[11]

Modern two-letter abbreviated codes for the states and territories originated when the Post Office introduced ZIP codes in 1963. The purpose was to make room for ZIP codes in the address, rather than to standardize state abbreviations per se.[10]

Since 1963, only one state abbreviation has changed. Originally Nebraska was "NB"; but, in November 1969, the Post Office changed it to "NE" to avoid confusion with New Brunswick in Canada.[10]

The two-letter postal abbreviation system is complicated by the fact that eight state names begin with M and to avoid duplication, some abbreviations, such as Missouri's "MO", are not intuitive. (Eight other state names begin with N, however, four state names begin with "New", while two others begin with "North".)

Prior to 1987, when the U.S. Secretary of Commerce approved the two-letter codes for use in government documents,[12] the United States Government Printing Office (GPO) suggested its own set of abbreviations, with some states left unabbreviated. Today, the GPO supports United States Postal Service standard.[13]

Current use of traditional abbreviations

The Associated Press Stylebook, the usage guide for most United States newspapers, counsels the use of abbreviations for most state names, when appended to a city name (for example, "Santa Ana, Calif."). AP suggests spelling out the names of Alaska, Hawaii, and all states with five or fewer letters; and, unlike the old GPO recommendations, AP suggests spelling out the names of all non-state territories, with the exception of the District of Columbia (D.C.). Legal citation manuals, such as The Bluebook and The ALWD Citation Manual, typically use these "traditional abbreviations" as well.

Codes for states and territories

ISO standard 3166

ANSI standard INCITS 38:2009

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) established alphabetic and numeric codes for each state and outlying areas in ANSI standard INCITS 38:2009. ANSI standard INCITS 38:2009 replaced the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) standards FIPS 5-2, FIPS 6-4, and FIPS 10-4. The ANSI alphabetic state code is the same as the USPS state code except for U.S. Minor Outlying Islands, which have an ANSI code "UM" but no USPS code—and U.S. Military Mail locations, which have USPS codes ("AA", "AE", "AP") but no ANSI code.

Postal codes

The United States Postal Service has established a set of uppercase abbreviations to help process mail with optical character recognition and other automated equipment.[14] There are also official USPS abbreviations for other parts of the address, such as street designators (street, avenue, road, etc.).

These postal abbreviations are distinguished from traditional abbreviations such as Calif., Fla., or Tex. The Associated Press Stylebook states that in contexts other than mailing addresses, the traditional state abbreviations should be used.[15] However, the Chicago Manual of Style now recommends use of the uppercase two-letter abbreviations, with the traditional forms as an option.[16]

The postal abbreviation is the same as the ISO 3166-2 subdivision code for each of the fifty states.

These codes do not overlap with the 13 Canadian subnational postal abbreviations. The code for Nebraska changed from NB to NE in November 1969 to avoid a conflict with New Brunswick.[10] Canada likewise chose MB for Manitoba to prevent conflict with various U.S. states.

Coast Guard vessel prefixes

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) uses a set of two-letter prefixes for vessel numbers;[17] 39 states and the District of Columbia have the same USPS and USCG abbreviations. USCG prefixes have also been established for five outlying territories; all are the same as the USPS abbreviations except the Mariana Islands. The twelve cases where USPS and USCG abbreviations differ are listed below and marked in red in the table above.

Mis-matches between USPS and USCG codes
California Colorado Delaware Hawaii Kansas Michigan Mississippi Massachusetts Nebraska Washington Wisconsin Mariana Islands

See also


  1. ^ "Ioa." or (more typically) "IOA" found in Iowa post office cancellations from the 1870s.
  2. ^ search on WN
  3. ^ a b The incorporated territory of the United States that was previously a part of the Territory of Hawaii.
  4. ^ The U.S. Armed Forces – Americas include the Caribbean Sea and exclude the United States, Canada, and Greenland.
  5. ^ The U.S. Armed Forces – Europe include the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, Canada, Greenland, Africa, and Southwest Asia.
  6. ^ The U.S. Armed Forces – Pacific include the Indian Ocean, Oceania, and Asia except Southwest Asia.
  7. ^ Former USPS code "CM" for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is now obsolete; it was changed to MP in 1988 to match ISO 3166-1.
  8. ^ Former USPS code "NB" for Nebraska is now obsolete; it was changed to NE in November 1969 to avoid confusion with New Brunswick, Canada.
  9. ^ "Philippine diplomats will now use PH or PHL instead of RP". GMA News. 28 October 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d USPS Postal History: State Abbreviations Accessed November 7, 2011.
  11. ^ USPS Postal News, "It's Okay to Say 'I Don't Know,' So Long As You Find Out!" January 9, 2009 [4]
  12. ^ Federal Information Processing Standards Publication 5-2, May 28, 1987 [5] Accessed April 21, 2009.
  13. ^ U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual, 30th Edition [6] Accessed April 21, 2009.
  14. ^ United States Postal Service Publication 28 - Postal Addressing Standards. Accessed February 4, 2007.
  15. ^ State Abbreviations
  16. ^ Major Rule Changes in The Chicago Manual of Style, Fifteenth Edition Accessed May 23, 2009
  17. ^ 33 C.F.R. 173, App. A

External links

  • USPS acronyms and abbreviations
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